What Information Is in a Tree Species Guide?


Quick Answer

A typical tree species guide contains photographs or illustrations of trees with general information about the growth habits and appearance of the tree. Guides are available in a variety of formats, including pocket-sized foldable pamphlets, books, online guides and mobile apps.

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Full Answer

“Trees: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar North American Species” by James Kavanagh is one example of a folding pamphlet guide. The guide is laminated, so individuals can use this guide’s full-color illustrations in the field to identify over 140 North American trees.

Book guides provide more detailed information and often focus on a specific region, genus or both, such as the “Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America” by John Stein and Denise Binion. This guide also aids individuals in identifying tree species, with an emphasis on identifying the leaves of mature oak specimens. The guide also includes information on the traditional uses for different species by native and local people, such as medication, food and construction.

The online species guide at ArborDay.org provides site visitors an interactive identification tool, which uses multiple choice questions to identify tree species. The site provides the scientific name for each species along with the zones it grows in the United States. A downloadable app for iOS provides the same identification tool for mobile users.

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